1987 JC Penney Christmas Catalog Page

Here’s what I wouldn’t mind seeing under my tree this year. 1987 was the last year I bought Joe toys as a kid, and I’m sorry I missed out on the vehicles from that year. I did track them down as an adult, but nothing beats memories of childhood play.



  • ”Ah yes, The G. I. Joe Christmas memories.Defiant Space Launch Complex, The Cobra Maggot Artillery Tank. Every Year from 1982 to 1989, brings back so many Christmas memories ”under the tree”. My favorite. Receiving the 1986 Cobra Night Raven S3P Black Jet Spy Plane.Totally Awesome!”

  • The Defiant is the best playset IMO. There I said it. The Flagg is epic but there is so much more play value in the Defiant.

    • Yes; the Defiant certainly has a lot of fun features. Even if it doesnt make much sense that the Joes had a space shuttle. Its still a great toy

  • Notice no crank cover on that one pictured either?

  • 1987 was my favorite release year. Chuckles was my favorite figure of all time. And Falcon, and Jinx . . .

  • Inflation makes fools of us all

  • No figures sets in ’87? That might be why the Maggot has the three Cobra vehicle drivers as the crew. ’87 was the first year I didn’t get any Joes for Christmas. I got the Mamba a couple of weeks before for my birthday. But, no Joes under the tree. (Don’t have any recollection of what I did get.) I bought three figures in early ’88 and then was done with Joe as a kid.

    While I have vivid memories of begging my parents for the Flagg (I found one for 69.99 but my Dad said he wouldn’t buy it until it went down to 50.00. Never did….) I don’t recall any specific memories of the Defiant. While the early part of ’87 is full of Joe memories, the latter half of the year was absorbed by baseball cards and 8th grade. So, I think that pushed any desire for the Defiant out of my mind.

  • I remember a store lowering the price of the Terror Drome to $29.99 eventually. I think mine was down to $35. If only that was still that price…! Though I’d probably have no room in my apartment.

  • By 1987, I was 16, and into thrash metal and girls.I regret not sticking with Joe, but it started drifting from serious military into fantasy (started with Zartan) and I lost interest. I had stopped buying the comic after # 53 and was into “serious” comics like Dark Knight and Watchmen…

  • While I wouldn’t have minded having the Defiant or the other Joe shuttle, I never really had a lot of outer space adventures with my Joe figures. I would’ve much preferred the Flagg, Tactical Battle Platform, or the Terrordrome. If they had made a Dreadnok Swamp Cabin, I would’ve been all over that.

    • Since you mentioned it, and I say this sort of separate to this particular Joeaday post, but the idea of Dreadnok Swamp Cabin really just launched some excitement in me as something that, well, I am surprised it hasn’t happened.

      Wow, a small transforming cabin would be awesome, and I don’t think it would need to be all that large at all to have a huge play value.

  • What a great catalog spread. That just makes you want that shuttle, eh? I recently got one in a lot, and let me tell you, this thing is HUGE! You’ve gotta have a 4’x4′ dedicated space to set it up for display. And nevermind the crawler, it’s too heavy to move much during play!

  • The Sears and J.C. Penney catalogs were really a strong presence overall to me in those years as I was residing in a very sparsely populated area. (it was a one hour drive to the nearest Kmart at that time.) I like this spread exampled here, but I could study a lot of these toy pages at that time.

    As years went by, I had sort of pack-ratted away a lot of things like these catalogs, however, as the years went by further still I am unsure if I had decided to toss these out purposely to reduce the amount of stuff I had, or if it was tossed on accident while clearing clutter, or if there was some other location I stored them and now can’t find them.

    The Sea Ray looks like a lot of fun in that picture, just that moving water look says action to me!

    Very possibly from this particular catalog (likely from my parents) is how I did get a Sea Ray. I remember that canopy bar snapping early on, and while it still worked, it made it less fun. And it wasn’t long after that that one of the three tabs that kept the two units together snapped off, further decreasing the fun.

  • I remember growing up being excited when the Sears Wish Book catalog showed up before Christmas. I’ve heard that at some point other department stores used almost the exact same catalog. But seeing those one and two page spreads of G.I. Joe, not to mention all the other toy lines, was great. I think I went through and circled everything on every page as a Christmas list! The small percentage I did get was good enough. 🙂

    And one year, I must have been a very good kid because I got the Defiant and I didn’t even ask for it!

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